Patterson welcomes Bowers as COO

Friday, January 29, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 5


Patterson Intellectual Property Law, P.C. has added John D. Bowers as chief operating officer, replacing longtime COO Jim Roberts, who is retiring.

Most recently, Bowers was assistant director of business development at Fox Rothschild LLP in Princeton, New Jersey, where he oversaw marketing and business development projects for more than 150 attorneys.

Bowers spent most of his professional career in Philadelphia, where he worked with firms Saul Ewing LLP, Duane Morris LLP and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.

Originally from Maine, he is a 1999 graduate of Messiah College, where he earned a degree in international business. He studied with the International Business Institute, through which he traveled in 12 European countries and Russia over 12 weeks learning about global marketing, comparative economics and international trade & finance.

Howell retires as chairman of First Freedom Bank


Ken Howell, board chairman of First Freedom Bank, has announced his retirement from that position.

Howell, who was one of the founders of First Freedom Bank 10 years ago, has spent more than 40 years in banking. John Lancaster, president and CEO, assumes the role of chairman, effective January 20, 2016.

Howell will continue to serve on the board of directors of First Freedom Bank as chairman emeritus. He also serves on the board of Shenandoah Mills, Inc. Howell is Lifetime Member #23 of the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, serving as board chairman in 1995.

Lancaster, a Lebanon native, was instrumental in organizing a group of investors to form First Freedom Bank. He has served as president, CEO and director since the bank’s inception in 2006.

Prior to the organization of First Freedom, he served as Wilson County Chairman with SunTrust Bank / National Bank of Commerce.

Lifepoint Health names Mevs its chief of staff


LifePoint Health has appointed J.L. Osei Mevs to the role of chief of staff.

In this position, Mevs will work closely with Bill Carpenter, LifePoint’s chairman and chief executive officer, to ensure the proper coordination and effective communication of the key issues, activities, projects and staff resources related to the company’s top strategic priorities. He will provide leadership for projects that cross multiple disciplines in the organization, serve as a pivotal point of contact with key internal and external stakeholders, and assist Carpenter in continuing to build and strengthen the company’s culture.

Mevs has more than 15 years of experience in public policy and legislative strategy, regulatory research and analysis, government relations, business development and community outreach. He previously served as director, government relations for LifePoint Health. Prior to joining the company, Mevs served as vice president of external affairs and business development at Meharry Medical College.

Mevs earned a master’s degree in public health/health policy and management from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University.

TCOG adds 5 members to its Board of Directors



The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government has announced new members of its board of directors. They are:

Victor Ashe, former Knoxville mayor, state representative, state senator and U.S. Ambassador to Poland

Braden Boucek, litigation director and representative for the Beacon Center of Tennessee


Hedy Weinberg, executive director of ACLU-TN

John Williams, attorney with Tune, Entrekin & White, P.C.


Larry Wood, general manager of WNWS-FM, NewsTalk 101.5 FM in Jackson

TCOG is a non-partisan organization founded in 2003 whose mission rests on the belief that citizen access to government information, through public records and public meetings, is crucial in allowing informed participation in a democratic society, and is an essential component in government accountability.

Chamber announces hires, promotions




The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has announced promotions and new hires to its policy team:

Jennifer Carlat has been named vice president-policy for the Chamber, with responsibility for issues impacting development, zoning and transit, and for representing Chamber positions on issues before the Metro Council.

Carlat served in a variety of roles for the Metro Planning Department for more than a decade, most recently as director of special projects with responsibility for the development of NashvilleNext, a comprehensive plan outlining policies guiding Nashville’s growth over the next 25 years.

Lee Harrell, Jr. has joined the Chamber policy team as vice president-policy, with responsibility for representing the Chamber before the Tennessee General Assembly and state agencies.

Harrell comes to the Chamber from the Tennessee School Boards Association, where he served as director of government relations and staff attorney. Harrell also served as a research analyst and executive assistant for policy and research for former Tennessee State Sen. Jamie Woodson of Knoxville and as research analyst for the Tennessee Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee.

Candy Johnson joins the Chamber as director of policy from her former position as director of community and foundation engagement for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. Her responsibilities with the Chamber will include serving as staff lead for the Chamber’s Education Report Card committee, as well as supporting the work of the industry partnership councils and CEO Champions for the Academies of Nashville.

Whitney Weeks has been promoted to senior vice president-policy. She will oversee the release of the Chamber’s annual Vital Signs report, a compilation of key indicators of the Nashville region’s economic health, and will lead management of the Leadership Study Mission, an annual study of best practices among peer cities by Nashville business, civic and government leaders.

Weeks is leading the planning team organizing the 25th anniversary 2016 Leadership Study Mission, slated to visit Minneapolis-St. Paul in April, and will continue to contribute to Chamber efforts on education policy, including the Education Report Card.

TDH appoints forensic experts to examiner’s office

The Tennessee Department of Health has announced the appointment of two accomplished medical doctors and forensic pathologists, each with experience at the local, state and national levels, to direct the state’s medical examiner office.

Julia C. Goodin, MD, will serve as state chief medical examiner, effective May 1, while Adele Lewis, MD will serve as deputy state chief medical examiner, effective March 6. Both are currently serving in a part-time capacity as they fulfill other responsibilities.

Goodin, MD, chief state medical examiner for the Iowa Department of Public Health since 1999, has performed more than 4,500 autopsies and has testified as an expert witness in both state and federal-level courts.

She earned her doctorate of medicine from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1983, had a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 1983 to 1987, was a visiting resident in the Medical Examiner’s Office and Department of Pathology at the University of South Carolina and was a Forensic Pathology Fellow in the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Md. from 1987 to 1988.


She earned diplomate certifications from the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Pathology (Clinical and Anatomical/Forensic Pathology).

Her professional appointments include service with medical examiners’ offices in Baltimore and Nashville, along with the states of New Mexico, Alabama and Iowa and teaching positions at the University of Maryland, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the University of New Mexico and the University of South Alabama. She is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Captain, with assignments including medical staff chair, Integrated Medical Support, Pensacola Naval Hospital and numerous pathology department assignments within the continental U.S.

Lewis, MD, earned her doctorate of medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1997. After residencies in general surgery, trauma and surgical critical care and anatomic pathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, she completed a fellowship in forensic pathology at the Office of the Medical Examiner in Nashville.

She has earned diplomate certifications in both forensic and anatomic pathology from the American Board of Pathology and has academic appointments including assistant clinical professor, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt; adjunct assistant professor, Meharry Medical College Department of Pathology; lecturer at the Forensic Institute for Research and Education at Middle Tennessee State University; faculty member, National District Attorneys Association in Columbia, S.C. and Washington, D.C. and instructor at the National Forensic Academy in Knoxville.

Lewis also serves as chair of the Board of the Nashville Academy of Medicine.

Neighborhood Health has new dental director

Michele N. Blackledge, DDS, has joined Neighborhood Health as dental director.

Blackledge was previously managing clinical director of Aspen Dental in Gallatin, where she oversaw management of the office and staff. She spent a year as a correctional dentist with the Tennessee Department of Corrections, and was previously a general dentist at Brite Smilez in Antioch.

Blackledge earned her doctorate of dental surgery at Meharry Medical College in 2011 and completed her general practice residency at Meharry in 2012.

She holds an M.B.A. from Florida Institute of Technology and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Southern University A&M College.

She is a member of the Tennessee Dental Association, the Nashville Dental Society, the American Dental Association, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

HarperCollins Christian hires marketing director

HarperCollins Christian Publishing has hired Paul Fisher as the new senior marketing director for its Fiction publishing group.

In his new role as senior marketing director, Fisher will be setting and leading the strategic marketing focus for both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan fiction publishing programs. He will be responsible for building and maintaining key stakeholder relationships as well as leading the fiction’s marketing enterprise.